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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  July 31, 2013 9:00am-12:01pm EDT

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question about opinions about the firearms case public, we have made it clear from the outset that public safety will never be sacrificed for prosecutor or investigative needs. they are first and foremost we strive to achieve in our investigations. >> when you took over at atf, you set out to clean up the shop. rather than as a planning of the atf employees that were responsible for fast and furious, you waited for an inspector general's report, it
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took a year. and after 18 months, after the inspector general's report, atf has not reported a single individual being disciplined for fast and furious. nobody seems to be fired. instead, several people are allowed to retire or terminate for other reasons. i want to ask about a series of individuals federal criticized by the inspector general for that role. for each 1i would like you to tell me whether atf proposed any discipline to hold them accountable for fast and furious how about the group supervisor, david. well was the situation with him and how was he disciplined?
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>> the special agent was subject to the interdisciplinary process and there were repercussions. again 93 sensitive here in this context about the privacy act concerns. >> it doesn't apply to hearings in congress. how about the assistant agent in charge, george gellet? >> george gellet has retired from atf. >> assistant in charge, james needles. >> james needles is in another capacity at atf. >> the special agent phoenix bill newel. >> there is a resolution pending
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that should be forthcoming. >> after all of these years nothing has happened to him. a deputy director in washington, bill mcmahon. >> bill mcmahon is retired from atf. >> retired, not disciplined. some of them are involved in fast and furious. understand the atf internal division found fault with george gellet and bill newell involvement in a fire in a home and in a separate event, gellet sold his firearms to a suspect one week after his office opened up the gun trafficking case on that person. this was one of multiple firearms transactions gellet that are currently under investigation by the inspector general. another is a gun that he thought that was recovered at the murder
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scene of the mexican beauty queen alongside a gun for fast and furious. however instead of gellet being disciplined when you took control in the summer of 2011, he was allowed to wait it out and retired in 2012. why did you allow gellett to retire rather than hold him accountable? >> with all due respect there are process these in place and they do take time. you mentioned the privacy act, the specifics of each of these cases -- i would like to just make sure that you understand the american public understands we didn't stand idly by and not take collective action including disciplinary action according to the rules of the road and the process these that are in play that are sometimes painfully
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slow. but all of the individuals you mentioned did get their due process. many of them were ably represented by counsel. >> can you tell us what discipline was proposed against newell as a result of the october, 2012 report? >> that is a matter that has quickly come to resolution and as soon as we can disclose it to you, we will. >> atf deputy director william mcmahon was the officials in washington, d.c. primarily responsible for supervising gellett and newell and they criticized him for his failure to do so, and the result in fast and furious yet under leadership the atf -- the atf was going to allow mcmahon to retire early at the age of 50. atf allowed him to go on extended leave and earn credit towards retirement while working a high-paying job for jpmorgan
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chase in the philippines at the same time. it wasn't until after i brought this unusual double dipping arrangement to your attention that atf attempted to threaten the situation. atf wasn't even aware that he was in the philippines. how was mcmahon's status resolved and how is it possible that one of your senior leaders and headquarters would be overseas for months while drawing a federal paycheck without atf knowing it and working for a private company coming and what does that say about how you are running the agency? >> senator, mr. mcmahon was one of the individuals terminated. he wasn't allowed to retire. he was terminated. >> he was terminated? >> he was terminated. he was terminated at the end of the process, he was terminated.
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>> was that after i brought it to your attention? >> the issue that you raised about his leave status and current employment status for all subject to a process we very much appreciate. the information enhancing our level of knowledge about things that were already in play internally that the end result was mr. mcmahon was terminated from atf. >> you have stated that on november 3rd, 2011, you issued a memorandum saying that the atf must take all reasonable steps to prevent criminal misuse of firearms. well to provide a copy of that memorandum to the committee? >> i believe that is an updated the atf order the we will provide. >> okay. >> what guidance have you issued the atf on questioning orders?
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>> i'm not quite sure that i understand the question. >> you've issued some guidance to the atf on the issue of questioning suspected straw purchasers. what does that guidance say? in other words, you have people all of their questioning straw purchasers. what guidance have you given them for this questioning? >> as i said, at her, other than the fact we have special agents better sometimes involved in the investigation and the firearms trafficking that would lead them to question as any other potential suspect. i'm not aware of any special guidance the what part of straw purchasers. >> what about guidance issued to atf about cooperating federal
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firearm licensees and the roles they should play in investigations? >> with respect to that particular issue, i do know that after i arrived at atf, one of the issues that we addressed were weaknesses and lack of clarity in our confidential informant order internally. we did a review of that as we did with the undercover order and we revised appropriately based in part the things that did not proceed as they shut in the district of arizona. so we have a greater clarity on the use of confidential informants are currently in place. >> despite the congressional provision against keeping in national gun registry camano that atf keeps a suspect done database -- gun database.
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is their anything on a purchaser to suspected gun database? >> the senator is talking about a hour tracing capability, then those are crimes entered with a make, model and serial number. as you and many others are aware it is firearms on the protection act in 1986 precludes anything a national gun registry would be illegal to do that. >> i've also heard allegations from several states of atf agents going to federal firearms licensees taking pictures of every form, 4473 in the storm. have you heard of the process and is this an activity by atf agents acceptable to you? >> as i sit here i am not
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familiar with the practice. i do know our industry options investigators all 700 plus of them with a range of responsibilities with literally tens of thousands that work very hard to do the appropriate inspections of ffl coming and that is difficult work. >> my staff says to me that we are not talking about tracing. we are referring to suspect gun database used extensively in fast and furious. >> i will let you answer that question in writing. thank you.
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on october 12th, 2012, the house kennedy on oversight subpoenaed all of the agendas meeting notes come follow-up reports for the attorney general's advisory committee that referred were related to the operation fast and furious during the time you were chair but the justice department has never produced any such documents or certified that none of them access to. do any such minutes or notes exist and if so why haven't they been turned over some pursuant to the subpoena? >> i don't have any knowledge beyond the fact relevant documents that have been collected internally at the department and in that matter is probably part of litigation. and if anyone ever wants to asked him questions, sure he can provide better clarity on the
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litigation involving the documents pursuant to the subpoena. >> what's suppose you didn't know is legitimate. respond to that question in writing. to the extent i have those documents still -- >> we will respond in writing, senate turkoman yes we will. >> on april 12 come 2013i sent you personally a letter requesting that you provide any personal notes from the edify is a committee that may have taken regarding fast and furious. you've not provided any such notes were certified to me that you don't have any such notes so why have you not responded? >> senator, no recollection of the letter that has that specific request, but as i said before, all of my -- of the documentation related to my
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tenure at the committee is in the review process that have taken place. >> the u.s. attorney for the district of arizona, dennis burke, was also on the attorney general's advisory committee during the time you were the chair. have you ever discussed operation fast and furious, whether by name or otherwise with burke? if so, when? >> i did serve with dennis burke when i was the chair and he was the chair for the southwest border. and our conversations were always at a higher level than the specific cases that were ongoing in the district of arizona. so i have no recollection of discussing the case specifically with dennis during my time as the chair. >> burke testified that as a result of fast and furious you raised the rate of the wiretap.
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what do you recall about those discussions? >> my general recollection was the pace with which and the volume of the title free request the office of enforcement operations in an effort through the u.s. attorney community to try to enhance their capability to review the title iii applications generally. >> we recently learned from a follow-up inspector general's report that the deputy attorney general reprimanded dennis burke for his role in leaking documents related to fast and furious to the press it was part of an attempt to undermine the credibility of the primary whistle-blower. atf special agent john dobson which is a perfect example about what i tell you about so often thought in just your agency but the free agency in town, whistleblowers are about as welcome as a skunk in a picnic. what is your opinion at burke's unauthorized release of information about the agents'
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participation in an undercover operation? >> i think the circumstance with dennis burke is unfortunate. i know what the rules of the road are with respect to the appropriate communications in the manual. and i do not have an opinion one way or another about the facts and circumstances because quite frankly i know as much as you know on the public record about the interactions between the u.s. attorney burke and the deputy attorney general. >> is that your answer to the next question when and how did you learn burke was responsible for the week? >> that is the answer. i know as much as you knew when it became a part of the public record. >> did you ever discuss the document dennis burke week with mr. burke? if so, please describe those. >> i don't have a recollection of having those kind of discussions with mr. burke. >> madam chairman, i have some dhaka as i want to put in the
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record if i can. the first one deals with a letter that is stated on june 10th, 2013, from carolina at the office of the special counsel exploiting that the investigation of mr. jones is in the mediation that is not imposed in a matter. >> in the record. >> the second one is a letter from all sold that i referred to the special fbi agent in charge that life referred to several times that should be made a matter of the record. and then i have a whistle-blower letter from the white house. the letter is addressed to senator mccaskill and cc'ed to me on the whistle blower protection. i would like to quote we wish to encourage such individuals to expose waste, fraud and other behavior the administration has been steadfast in its commitment
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to that very principle and to ensure that individuals that make lawful disclosures received protection and this is highlighted. this administration has also repeatedly made clear that there will not tolerate retaliation against lawful whistle-blowers. editorial comment on that. i believe every president at least since ronald reagan i thought every president about protecting whistle-blowers. you know what one president said when i suggested that you ought to have a rose garden ceremony honoring some whistle-blowers and you sent from the top of the air administration down to the lowest level of public employment a picture that being a whistle-blower is a patriotic thing to do if you happen to be right on what you are of whistle-blowing about. >> he said if we did that we would have 6,000 whilstleblowers
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coming out of the woodworks? isn't that nice thing for the president to tell me? and it is in this president that told me that. so i believe the president said here. but it isn't getting down to the lowest level. and i hope if you are confirmed, mr. jones, you will do with the president said his administration wants to do to aid the only thing i would say in conclusion, mr. jones, if you have agreed to a staff interview, these things that we are discussing here could have been discussed in a private forum. i would like to ask why you didn't give the staff interview that we asked. >> if i am confirmed to having regular communications and the oversight capacity with you and your staff and members of this
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goes by. this doesn't answer my question how you respond to the request you give us staff interviews. >> i did have an interview with the particular matter. >> what about the other matters that we ask? is it embarrassing for you to tell us why you wouldn't come? >> i am a member of the department of justice. >> they told you not to? >> under some circumstances, senator, i do not have the freedom of action as i did as an individual citizen. >> thank you very much senator grassley. i'm going through summarizing some of the discussions today. i appreciate senator grassley is focus on whilstleblowers. it's important and he's done a great service to the country calling attention to this and i appreciate his willingness to
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question people and that is what we are supposed to be here to do some thank you, senator grassley as well as the other senators that have taken part in this hearing. senator grassley, you have another question? >> no, i would request of you that the record stay open all along for than one week because i think there's a lot of things. >> we will keep it open for two weeks, is that all right? no? what would you like? >> until we get done with this whole -- >> i don't -- i think we will keep it open for two weeks and if you read the chairman not to have another discussion about it, that is up to you. for now i will keep it open for two weeks. i want to clarify a few things. first of all, -- spec is it okay with you if i leave because i have the perspective secretary of commerce coming. >> i think that's very important. she's a good nominee as far these nominees. i hope you have a good meeting
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with her. i just wanted to conclude by going through just what we've heard today. there is a lot of attacks that have been made against mr. jones. i know from law enforcement having experienced some of this myself, it isn't easy to manage lawyers and police. there are judgment calls that made all the time. some are good, some are bad. mistakes are made and you move forward. that's important to keep in mind here. one of the most overriding things i think we should learn from this is that the 2300 agents deserve someone who is permanently in charge of them no matter with the title of the agency is, no matter of people have political disagreements with work that is being done. i think the fact that we have an agency of the united states government we currently do not that we have left dormant for several years the matter what and if someone would face a hearing at think it is wrong. and i want to say that having
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mr. jones be willing to come forward to the hearing knowing exactly what he's going to be subjected to with many of these coming out recently since he's been nominated i think that is courage right there. first of all, we have been talking about the criminal work in minnesota to the and i think that he has explained his decision making. others may disagree on that. but i would note again, emphasizing a lot of things going to this -- police work, fbi work, local, state, prosecution's effort, if you look at it as a whole, minnesota has a pretty good track record with the violent crime rate having gone down 15% during mr. jones'' first ten years from 1998 to 2001 and a decrease in the latest stats we have from 2009 to 2011, and i would also note overall minnesota is doing a good job compared to many states including most of the states represented by senators
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on the committee. second, the support from wall enforcement i mentioned it's in the room how people have worked with jones over a period of time i think that is important. some of the issues that were raised i think it is senator kunes that asked some questions about the same and i think it is important to have on the record. we have those on the record about the interior is obviously senator grassley and senator cruce and senator flake asked about this. if you were in the private sector and something went wrong coming you look to see if the people are still in place that were in charge when this happened. as mr. jones has pointed out, i think he changed nearly two-thirds of the people in charge of the agency when he came in after stand furious that there had been disciplinary proceedings that are under way and had been concluded. i understand why he can't attest to discipline every name of a
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person and i know he will work with the senator concerned about that but i do think it's important to note she was brought in after fast and furious and after mistakes had been made in the agency to make some changes. i don't think that we should forget the good work that's been done by atf in the last few months, with sandy hook and the investigation after boston how the terrorists were apprehended and also what happened in west texas which was a horrible tragedy and explosion and atf was right there on the front line figuring out what went wrong. and as i also pointed dealt day in and day out there are cases you don't hear about on the news where the solutions are found and investigations are conducted. so, that is the last part of course would be the whistleblower case in minnesota. i know that person and have respect for him and i know there can be this agreements cannot i'm glad this is going into the mediation.
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this is important. but when you look at all of this together i think anyone in law enforcement would be able to find a series of problems within agencies. and i think when you have to look at is what has mr. jones done since he took over in atf? is that worthy of marriage and for other nominees decades from now to the level to show that if someone comes in and is willing to take that responsibility by instead of just keeping their jobs, keeping happy with their family, staying in the state they are in and they are willing to take on the hard jobs and to above average as we like to say in minnesota in terms of trying to clean things up, is that to be rewarded or is that to be criticized? so i would end with a quote that i gave my daughter in the car. it's one of those cliche quote how was fitting when i was trying to get her to do something the other day. i took about old roosevelt quote where he said it is in the credit that counts, not the man that points out of a strong man
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stumbles with the do were devotee could have done them better. the credit belongs to amanda was actually in the arena whose face is marked by sweat and blood who strives valiantly and who comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming but who does actually tried to do the deeds and knows of a great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spins himself in a war because he and who in the best nose of the triumph of a high achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while doing greatly so that his place shall never be with those who neither no victory or defeat. when i tried that quote all my daughter she said that is just about men. they only use the word man. i try to go beyond that to say mr. jones was willing to take on a tough assignment. again i think we owe these agents to have a permanent director i think we should get
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him confirmed and despite all of the work senator grassley is bringing up the important questions which we must do when we have a nominee before us that we are able to move forward and get through this and do this in a timely manner. also thank you for the fine work and the credentials he already done on the justice department and your most amazing families behind you who continue i can tell. if you manage the civil department as you manage your kids you are going to do a really good job. the was positive. [laughter] i want to thank both nominees, their families, everyone out there that has been willing to sit through this hearing as well as the senators that were willing to attend. i hope we can move forward on the nomination and i also want to thank caroline of my staff that head up the work on this as well as senator leahy and senator grassley's staff. it's noted the hearing record
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will be open for two weeks, unless the chairman decides to change that. and we will move forward i hope to a vote on this nominee. thank you. and the other nominee. the hearing is adjourned. in a moment live coverage of the u.s. senate today. senators will take up the measure from senator rand paul. he wants to redirect money to repairing bridges in the u.s.. we are expecting a vote on senator paul's amendment at 10:45 eastern. after that a vote on the nomination of tom jones to head
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the bureau of alcohol tobacco and firearms and explosives. mr. jones has been the director of the agency for june years. also the nomination of some and the powers to be the u.s. ambassador to the united nations. she's formerly a human rights adviser for president obama. now to the live coverage on the u.s. to order. senate will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. god of grace, glory, and power, the battle belongs to you. forgive us for fearing the future, forgetting how you have led us in the past. forgive us also for our haste to paint a caricature of the many
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because of the mistakes of the few. lord, remind us that fierce winds bring no anxiety to those who keep their eyes on you. lord, today, imbue our lawmakers and the members of their staffs with your wisdom that they may know the road to take. sustain those who courageously bear the burdens of the marginalized. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic
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for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., july 31, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable edward, markey, a senator from the commonwealth of massachusetts, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader is recognized. mr. reid: mr. president, just a brief word or two about the presiding officer. when he took the oath to become a senator, we had a lot of things going here. i didn't have the opportunity to say as much about him as i would like because we were in some,
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the middle of a real battle here that we seem to have resolved. i don't know if there is anyone in my 31 years of congress that has been better prepared to be a senator than the senator from massachusetts, who now is the presiding officer. a stunning record has already been established with his work in the senate. i have from afar admired this good man, and for four years up close when i served in the house with him. the work for the environment has been unparalleled, and one of the rare voices that has for many years understood the dangers of nuclear waste and been aware of the benefits of nuclear power but also the dangers. there's a long resume that this presiding officer has, and i
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want the record to reflect that i am terribly impressed with the work he's already done in the house and going to be even more impressed for the work that he will do here in the senate. the people of massachusetts are very, very fortunate to have the presiding officer as the senator from massachusetts. mr. president, following leader remarks the senate will resume consideration of the transportation, housing and urban development appropriations bill. at about 10:45 there will be a roll call vote in relation to the paul amendment. as i've indicated to him and others, we'll probably to table that. that will be up to the two managers of the bill, but i understand that is what they are going to do or someone will do. following disposition of the paul amendment, the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the jones nomination to be director of a.t.f.. we'll do this vote as quickly as i can work out an appropriate time with the republican leader. i filed cloture on that bill as
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a result of filing deadline for all first-degree amendments to that bill is 1 p.m. today. i am told mr. president, s. 1392 is at the desk and due for a second reading. if that's true, i'd ask you to direct the clerk to report the same. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the second time. the clerk: s. 1392, a bill to promote energy savings in residential buildings and industry, and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president, i would object to any further proceedings to this bill at this time. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bill will be placed upon the calendar. mr. reid: mr. president, when president obama proposed a plan yesterday to simplify our corporation tax code and lower rates for businesses, i expected republicans all over the country, but especially here in congress, to jump for joy. i think there are many people
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around the country that were satisfied and happy, but the republican leadership in the congress surprised me and i think a lot of people with their reaction. it was just a few months ago that leader mcconnell signaled he'd be open to plan to reform the tax code. this is what he said -- and i quote -- "i'm told president obama is going to come out for lowering the corporate tax rate. to the extent he wants to do some of these things, our answer is going to be yes." it's amazing how quickly his answer went from yes to no. no. republicans have favored corporate tax reform for decades. we've heard them say so. this was one of the mantras during the presidential campaign. but now that president obama is proposing it, republicans are opposing it. the president's thoughtful proefrp -- approach would couple
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of lower tax rates with measures such as roads, bridges and dams, and manufacturing incentives. and he was in the state of tennessee when he made this announcement, and they are a picture book as to how corporate interests there can really move on. they've done a great job in tennessee. i would bet that every corporation in tennessee, they were elated to hear what president obama had to say yesterday. mr. president, it is going to take a balanced approach. that includes smart spending cuts, closing wasteful loopholes, and ask the corporations who will benefit from lower tax rates to do their fair share. even speaker boehner supported this approach in the past. this is what he said just a short time ago -- quote -- "we want to put americans back to work. i think lowering the corporate tax rate is critically important. and to do that, i think we have to look at the tax expenditure side. the deductions, credits, and
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other gimmicks that may be in the tax code that have accumulated over the last 30 years." i don't say this very often, but speaker boehner was right. this is the kind of balanced approach to deficit reduction that the american people favor. a simpler tax code that lowers rates and makes our businesses more competitive but also raises new revenue to invest in job creation. mr. president, we have learned that the sequestration already has got 1.6 million jobs -- has cut 1.6 million jobs. so we need job creation. we need to help the middle class by creating jobs. as president obama said, if we're going to give businesses a better deal, we need to give workers a better deal also. we can use the money we save by simplifying the tax code to create jobs now, right away, jobs that can never be outsourced. both democrats and republicans get something they want, and the economy gets something in the
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arm it needs. a shot in the arm that it needs. we already cut the deficit in half in the last three years. democrats, that's the yearly deficit, mr. president. and we've saved already $2.6 trillion in the accumulating debt. democrats know there's more to be done. we certainly do. but we won't agree to any plan that balances the budget by killing jobs even more than already and whacking the middle class. and that's while holding the richest individuals and corporations harmless. democrats believe we must offset the harsh spending cuts of the last few years with job creation that puts the middle class back on track. to get the economy back to full steam we should be making targeted investments into things like infrastructure and education, things that always helped america grow and succeed
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: you know there is not much to say about the president's speech yesterday other than he actually retreated from previous commitments to a more bipartisan revenue-neutral corporate tax reform and then tried to sell that rejection of bipartisanship as some -- quote unquote -- grand bargain. i mean, only in washington. let me say this, it really would
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be nice to see the president work with congress for a change to get some important things done for the american people. republicans have been eager to do this all along. but really, it's almost like there's a gone campaigning sign outside the oval office. a "gone campaigning" sign outside the oval office. and on the rarest occasions when he does come to the hill, as he will today, you find out it's basically just another internal campaign rally with democrats. so i hope he'll finally get serious and make one of his famous pivots this time in a new direction toward effective policy and away from the never-ending political sideshow. but it's hard to see, especially when you consider that the
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president's party is now attempting to blow up one of the most genuinely bipartisan accomplishments of the obama era. the budget control act that was agreed upon two summers ago represents a commitment from washington to america, a commitment from washington to america. a bipartisan promise to enact $2.1 trillion in spending control. last year the slightest hint of fiddling with the spending caps led to a furious response from senior washington democrats. it even led to a veto threat from the white house. but now washington democrats are tired of bipartisanship. the commitments they made have become an inconvenience to their special interest agenda, so now they're threatening to shut the government down if they're not allowed to break their word.
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that's what this appropriations debate we're having is all about. it's about an attempt to blow up, an attempt to blow up an important bipartisan achievement by busting the spending caps both parties already agreed to. well, republicans don't believe we should be breaking our commitments to the american people and breaking commitments in order to overspend as democrats propose seems like an even worse reason for them to shut down the government. so i hope they won't. i hope they'll think about the third way offer we've had made to them too, that we'd happily discuss exchanging some of the particular cuts they don't like for government reforms, the kind of innovative ideas that can get our economy back on track and our government back in the black. not just in the immediate term, but over the long haul.
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this policy discussion was, has never been morell srapbt, especially when -- more relevant especially when we look at what's happening in detroit, what's happening in europe, when we realize that the real-world consequences of putting off reform are no longer just abstract or hypothetical. they're here. they're real. they're now. the experts tell us that the united states is already on a completely unsustainable fiscal trajectory and that we need to make some big changes today if we want to avoid a similar fate. they also tell us that unlike detroit or greece, america still has some time to chart her own future but not long. that's why the choices we make today are so important. we can follow the democratic path to austerity, the path of breaking spending caps wide open
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and borrowing more money we don't have, of callously rejecting reform and blissfully denying the future. that path inevitably thraoedz european -- leads to european-style austerity, to the decimation of the middle class. to desperation for the least among us. or we can follow the republican path to reform and to growth, a path of smart choices, innovative reforms and orienting our economy toward the future, a path that not only prevents austerity tomorrow but leads to more jobs and a better economy today. a democratic path to austerity or a republican path to reform and growth, these are the choices. voting for appropriations legislation that blatantly violates budget reforms already agreed to by both parties moves
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our country in exactly, exactly the wrong direction. it puts us on the democratic path to austerity. that's one of the many reasons i will be voting against this spending bill, and i would urge my colleagues to do the same because it's time to get serious about the challenges we face. it's time to work together to reposition america for growth and prosperity and sustainability in the 21st century. and if the president is willing to get off the campaign trail and show some leadership with his party to convince them of the need for positive reforms and the need to actually stick to them, i'm confident we can create a better economy today and leave a better future for our children tomorrow. but it's up to him and his visit today offers a great chance to convey this message to his fellow democrats.
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now, mr. president, on a different matter, -- i'd like to say just a few words about my departing chief of staff rohif kumar who announced a few weeks back he will be leaving the senate at the end of this week. many of the members of the senate know rohif pretty well. he has been trolling the floor out here for a long time, telling us on the republican side what to do and how to do it, and he has been a constant presence at my side in just about every legislative battle we've had here in the senate for the past six and a half years. and even before that, actually when he was working for leader frist and i was over in the
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whip's office. so many of us could recount rohif's many talents, but as his boss, it falls on me to do it and i'm happy to do it because we have been through a lot. the first thing to say about rohif is that his mind is like a trap. he's got the answer to literally every question. and the moment you ask him. and he has usually thought through the politics of it, too. that might not sound terribly unusual, but i assure you it's rare in this business to come across somebody who combines a brilliant mind for politics and a brilliant mind for politics in one package, but that's rohif. he's just remarkable that way. and it's just one of the reasons he has been indispensable to me, not only in the day-to-day stuff but especially on the three
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major deals i helped broker with vice president biden, starting with a two-year extension of the bush tax cuts in late 2010, the debt limit deal we arrived at in the summer of 2011, and then, of course, the fiscal cliff agreement at the very end of last year in which we locked in the bush tax rates permanently for 99% of americans. that's something we couldn't even do, by the way, when we had a republican house, a republican senate and a republican president. every one of those agreements involved a lot of work, a lot of nights and weekends and tremendous focus, and we couldn't have done any of that without rohif. anything that ever came up in those discussions, rohif could tell you the up side and the down side, where the other side was willing to go and where they
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weren't. he knew where all the trip wires were, and it's because of these same skills as well as his tbras of senate rules and procedure that he has become sort of an informer advisor to the entire republican conference over the years. it's not at all unusual for me to walk back to rohit's desk and see him talking to another senator either in my office, in the person or on the phone. he just knows how things work. folks who are smart know they can call him up and swing by if they want to know what's going on or what's possible or what's not on absolutely anything. a lot of other senators will miss him every bit as much as i will. now, rohit said he was drawn to public service by the example of his parents. both are doctors, but both also viewed their work as more of a calling than just a source of income. his dad is a widely respected
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and well-known teacher at the university level, and his mom worked at a v.a. hospital. rohit wasn't drawn to medicine, but like his folks, he wanted to make a difference, and that's what drew him to politics. he got his start answering phones for the mayor of dallas. he then translated that into an internship for phil gramm's state office after his sophomore year at duke. after graduating in just three years, he took a job in senator graham's washington office as an l.a. and did that for a couple of years before heading off to law school. the plan was to become a federal prosecutor. so he moved down to charlottesville, stayed there for a clerkship on the fourth circuit, and then saw his plan go up in smoke when he called senator graham for career advice. rohit told him what he was
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thinking, and senator graham listened. and then he told him he thought it would be a much better idea if he came back to the senate and worked for him instead. so senator graham can be pretty persuasive. rohit agreed, and he has been here ever since. now, it wasn't a straight line. about a month after rohit got here, gram announced he wasn't running for re-election, but over the year that followed, he impressed a lot of folks, and it wasn't long before senator lott picked up the phone and asked him if he would join him in the leader's office. rohit accepted, then spent pretty much of his entire time there figuring out how to get the department of homeland security up and running in such a way that it wouldn't be hamstrung by union rules. then over a holiday weekend in late 2002, he got a taste of things to come. president bush wanted d.h.s.
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approved and rohit and other key staffers had a holiday weekend to do it. they started writing the bill on a thursday night and wrapped it up by tuesday morning. rohit stuck around during the frist years, gaining even more experience and impressing even more people, including me. and when leader frist left at the end of 2006, i brought him onto my leadership team, and it's been one of the best hiring decisions i have ever made. as i said, he has been an extraordinary help to me and just a great guy to have around. he's not only whip smart, he has got a fantastic sense of humor and a work ethic like i've never seen. so i want to thank hrohit for his dedication and his service to me and to the senate, and since this is really the only opportunity i ever have to do this, i want to thank hillary for letting us have him for this
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long. i think she is here in the gallery. i know how supportive she has been of rohit staying here for so long, and so i just want to thank her for that and apologize for all the canceled trips and lost weekends. i know it wasn't always easy to see it in the moment, but he's made an enormous difference, not just to me but for our country. i can't promise the transition will be easy. you might want to find a good ten-step blackberry recovery program when we finally take the thing away from him, but i'm sure, hillary, you will figure it out. so with that, i want to wish rohit all the best in the future. i know he's got a bright one. i understand he will be unemployed after the weekend. i expect that won't last long, but if you ever want to come back, we've always got a place for you.
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thanks, buddy. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of s. 1243, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 99, s. 1243, a bill making appropriations for the departments of transportation, and housing and urban development, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: i'd ask unanimous consent to call up amendment 1739. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. the clerk will report. the presiding officer: --
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the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. paul, proposes amend unfunded mandate 1739. mr. paul: i would ask unanimous consent we consider the amendment to be read. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. paul: a once-great city, detroit, lies in ruins. 50,000 feral dogs roam the city. abandoned houses litter the landscape. it is a bleak and forlorn future that awaits detroit. creditors clamor for nearly $20 billion in debt. city employees wonder if they will be paid. there is not enough money to even replace the streetlights in detroit. god forbid that a major fire break out. at some level, i think the president does care about detroit, but today all i can see is the billions of dollars, the billions of american tax dollars that he chooses to send overseas. i see the shiny new technology,
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america's best going to arm people who are indifferent to us and at worst hate us. the president sends billions of dollars to egypt in the form of advanced fighter planes and tanks. meanwhile, detroit crumbles. chicago is a war zone. more people die in chicago this year than in afghanistan. yet, the president insists on building a $34 million forth -- fort in afghanistan. hillary clinton insists on spending $80 million on a consulate in afghanistan that will never be used. as detroit decays, chicago's a maelstrom of violence, and yet no one questions sending billions of your dollars to egypt, to despots, to dictators in foreign countries. our nation's bridges are
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crumbling, and few politicians from either party will question billions of dollars are being sent overseas while our nation's infrastructure is crumbling. the law is very clear. everyone here in congress can read. they recognize, they recognize that the law says when there is a military coup, the aid must end. today we will vote on whether or not they will obey the law or whether they will openly flout the law and disobey. when a military coup overturns a democratically elected government, all military aid must end. that's the law. there is no presidential waiver. the law states unequivocally that the aid must end. so when the military coup occurred in egypt, how did the president respond? how did congress respond?
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the president and his cohorts in congress responded by shoveling good money after bad into the failed state of egypt. the president is intent on building nations abroad and not taking care of our nation here at home. i propose that we take the billion dollars that is now being illegally given to egypt and spend it at home. we have bridges crumbling at home. can't we fix some of our problems at home? we have had a bridge collapse this year in washington state. we had one collapse in minnesota a few years ago. we have a bridge in northern kentucky that is becoming increasingly unsafe, and yet there is not enough money to repair our bridges because your politicians are sending the money overseas. it's unwise, and right now it's
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illegal. countries like egypt are getting billions of dollars in aid. meanwhile, they recently let a mob advance on our embassy, climb atop our embassy and burn our flag. i say not one penny more to these countries that allow mobs to burn our flag. in between cashing our checks, egypt finds time to convict 16 americans on trumped-up political charges. fortunately the americans were able to escape. they left the country or we'd have 16 americans imprisoned by egypt. luckily these americans were able to get out of the country. how do these establishment politicians respond? how will the other side respond today when they get up and plead that we should break the law? what will they say about detroit? what will they say about chicago? what will they say about the bridges in northern kentucky
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that won't be built because we're sending the money to countries that are burning our flag? i think it's unwise to send arms, particularly advanced arms, into the chaos of egypt. i fear one day that someone may arise in egypt who says let's attack israel with these planes. let's attack israel with these tanks. i fear these weapons that we are giving to egypt may someday be used against america and our allies. even the egyptians don't want our aid. there was a gallup poll last year that showed 70% of egyptians don't want the money we're sending them. to understand why, you have to understand that american aid doesn't go to the egyptian people. it goes to the despots and the dictators that run the place. you have to realize that when protesters gather in cairo by the hundreds of thousands and even millions they gather in
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tahrir square, why are they unhappy with america? they're unhappy with america because they're being sprayed with tear gas, bout with american tax -- dollars manufactured in pennsylvania and given to the military. why are they unhappy? foreign aid doesn't go to people. it goes to foreign despots and foreign dictators. foreign aid is more likely to buy a lavish chateau in paris than to buy bread in egypt. it buys jets for the move to muk family. over the past 30 years americans have been forced to finance the mubarak family living large. so when you see pictures of depression in detroit, when you see abandoned housing in
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detroit, when you see boarded up housing, when you see 50,000 dogs running through the streets of detroit, when you see a once great nation, once great city lying in decay, you think about your politicians who chose to send that money to egypt and not keep it here at home. as detroit decays, as the money is stolen and squandered around the world, but as detroit decays, as chicago is overrun with violence, as americans struggle to put food on the table, mubarak and his family dined on caviar and champagne. as mubarak flew to europe for weekends on his jet and lived the life of a king, his people rotted in jail indefinitely without charge, without trial. they have been living under martial law for 30 years.
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you wonder why they're unhappy with us? we've been financing the guy that's been giving them martial law and indefinite detention without trial for 30 years. to add insult to injury, when they protest against their government, they're doused with tear gas made in our country. foreign aid doesn't go to foreign people. it goes to despots and dictators. the president claims that he feels your pain. the president says he can feel the pain and he wants to help the middle class. but it seems like he wants and intends to help foreign people, foreign countries more than he wants to help america. the president promised us hope and change, but the more he claims that things change, i think the more they stay the same. i wanted to believe that the president would be different. i wanted to believe that he would bring change. i wanted to believe that he would stand up to the arms race,
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to the military industrial complex, that he would stop the flow of arms to despots and dictators across the planet. but hope and change just turned out to be a slogan. in detroit and chicago and in the once great cities of america, no change came. hope and change was just a slogan. the poverty, the murders, the abysmal schools, they continue. where are you, mr. president? where are you when in our hour of need in our country, why are you sending our money to people who hate us? why are you sending arms to countries that don't like us or our allies? why would we do that? the president maintains he will end the war in afghanistan, and i support him. but he insists on fighting new wars secretly without congressional approval in libya
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and syria. while detroit decays and desends into bankruptcy, the president, like so many republicans before him, continues to send american tax dollars overseas to countries that persecute and kill christians. hope and change, i guess it was just a slogan. the law clearly states that when you have a military coup, overturning elected government, the military aid must end. even the president doesn't dispute the law. he doesn't even dispute it's a coup. but he just says i'm not going to say it's not a coup, you can't make me. it's ridiculous that any intelligent person or country, and i wonder if any of those will stand up and say it's not a coup. how do you say when a military takes over a country and boots out a government that it's not a cue? only a fool or a demagogue would
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attempt to argue the military junta in egypt is not a cue, that the military takeover that installed the lead general as deputy prime minister is somehow not a coup. mr. inhofe: would the senator yield for a unanimous consent request? mr. paul: not yet. in a remarkable bid of sophistry, the president admits the law does not mandate an end to military aid when a coup takes place. he says it does, but he says it can't make him decide, so he's not going to decide whether there was a coup or not. what it is is it's brazen and open flouting of the law. the president's argument reminds me of a third grader at recess. a third grader says he won't call it a coup, and you can't make him. it's absurd. we passed a law. the law of the land says if a coup happens, if the military takes over or participates in a substantial way in removing an elected government, that the
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military aid ends. so we're either a nation of laws or not. so when the president refuses to acknowledge that it's a coup, that it's not yet an acknowledged coup, he just says aid is going to go on indefinitely. he will go on indefinitely flouting the law. americans should be outraged and insulted by such blatant shirking of the law. either we're a nation of laws or we're not. will we obey the law or not? we have the presumption to tell the world how to behave, to criticize egypt for not obeying the rule of law, all legitimate concerns. and yet the president blithely ignores our own law. if we choose to ignore our own laws, can we with a straight face preach to the rest of the world about the rule of law? i think by openly flouting our own laws, we take away from our ability to lead the world. we take away from our moral
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authority to show the right way. we always have been. america's always been the leader by example. but when we -- how do we lead by example when we're not going to obey our own laws? there really is a question, are we a monarchy or a republic? are we possible ruled by caprice? if we pick and choose which laws to obey, what message does that send? i say to all americans, democrats, independents and republicans that enough's enough. we aren't going to take it anymore. call your representative and tell them enough already. tell them to take care of our country. tell them not one penny more to countries that are burning our flag. mr. president, i suggest that today we do something historic and listen to the american people. the american people don't want good money after bad shoveled and sent overseas. they want to fix some of the
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problems we have at home. they want to do some nation building here at home. my amendment that i will introduce shortly will give your representatives a chance to vote for this. we're going to say, yes, we will obey the law. we're not sending any more weapons to egypt and we're going to take the money, but we're going to build some bridges in our country. we're going to repair some roads. we're going to work on some infrastructure here at home. everybody seems to say they're for it. in fact, the president has now come out and he says he wants some grand bargain to take some new money and actually work on infrastructure. mr. president, it's right here. i'm offering it today. mr. president, i have another amendment that would say all foreign profit can come home at 5%. we take that revenue and we build new bridges. they won't even let me vote on that one. so the president's grand bargain to increase infrastructure spending, i've got it. it's here on the floor.
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mr. president, call the leadership of the senate. tell them it's on the floor and you support this, that you want infrastructure spending. i have a bill that would do precisely that. this amendment will do a little bit in that direction. take the $1 billion we spend in egypt and spend it in america. so when you see the pictures on the news and what's going on in detroit, if you live in detroit and you're suffering through the bankruptcy of your city, if you see around you the chaos and poverty of detroit, you look and call the president. you say, mr. president, why are you sending that money to egypt? why are you sending money overseas when our nation is crumbling, our cities are crumbling, our infrastructure is crumbling, our bridges are are crumbling? and the president says, i'm just going to send that to egypt. i'm going to send that overseas. this amendment will give everyone a chance to put their
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money where their mouth is, to say do you care about america? do you care about repairing american infrastructure? or do you care more about sending money to a dictatorship in egypt? i think the choice is clear. i think if you ask the american people, three-fourths or more of them, i think maybe nearly 100% of the american people are with me. let's spend that money at home. let's don't send that money overseas to people who hate us, to people who burn our flag. keep it at home. there is a finite amount of money. we can't do everything. we can't fix everything if we have to fix everybody else's problems first. let's address some of the needs we have here at home. so, mr. president, i encourage a "yes" vote to vote to keep the money at home and not to send it overseas. and i reserve the balance of my time. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, i regretfully am going to oppose this. i'm going to have to cover some
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points here that my good friend from kentucky made that i think are totally wrong. first of all, i don't agree that we need to be going up there with federal dollars and bailing out cities that are having problems. of course, that's a decision that's going to be made, i suppose, by a lot of people. i also, when the senator from kentucky talks about sending billions of dollars overseas, there are some of the, some of the foreign aid i would agree with him on and i would join him. certainly not on this one. but before i tell you why, let me just clarify something, because there are people, members of this body and members outside who are conservatives believing this is some kind of a conservative program to defund the military in egypt. let me assure you it's not. this is coming from a person who is probably -- in fact, i'm certain of it. i've been rafrbgd as the most -- ranked as the most conservative member of this body more than
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any other single person has. this is coming from a conservative. not from a liberal. not from a democrat. we have a unique situation, and i'd like to respond to a couple of things that my friend from kentucky said. first of all, yes, it probably fits the description of a coup. and i know what the law is. the law says that you can't send money, foreign aid after a coup. i have a bill drawn up right now that if this is determined to be a coup, it could pass the house and the senate and be signed by the president in one day. so that's something that can be done. i would have the best of intentions of obeying the law to the letter. as far as the situation in egypt, morsi's gone. let's face that reality. there are a lot of things that we don't like about this. but i will say this, if you have any feelings at all for our good friends, our best friends in the middle east -- that's israel -- then you can't consider this amendment. israel has all of the interests
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at stake. and it goes back to 1979. the camp david accords. and i remember that very well. the camp david accords put together something between israel and egypt. keep in mind in egypt, it is not egypt. it is the military. the egypt military. they have been our friends. they have been israel's friends for years and years and years. since 1979. and if we turn our backs on the military now, there are others who would love to fill that vacuum. should they have f-16's, i'm glad they have f-16's. they ought to have more f-16's, and some have been purchased and not delivered yet. they should be delivered. but if it's not going to be f-16's, if we should pass an amendment like this, you're going to find yourself with a bunch of mig-29's coming over from russia instead of our f-16's. if this were 10 years ago, if this were 15 years ago, i might agree with my friend from kentucky, but that was before we realized the threats that we have in the middle east.
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we have some friends in the middle east. we have israel, we have jordan. we have kuwait, u.a.e., qatar, saudi arabia. if that group of friends in the middle east breaks up, what can happen to us here in america? our intelligence has said, and it's unclassified since 2007, that iran will have the capability of a weapon and a delivery system by 2015. if we don't have our friends in the middle east to keep that from happening, we could pass an amendment like this, turn our backs on israel, and that is exactly the thing that could happen. so i know there are a lot of people who want to talk on this who are a lot more articulate than i am, but i would say from a conservative, from this conservative, we cannot do this to our friends from israel and our other allies in the middle east. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee is recognized. mr. corker: i want to go in the appropriate order.
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i see the chairman of the committee. i'd like five minutes at some point, but do you want to go ahead, senator? mr. menendez: mr. president, what is the parliament procedure? i understand that the opponents of this have 30 minutes, is that correct? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. the senator from oklahoma has used five minutes of the time in opposition. mr. menendez: then i ask unanimous consent that as the chair of the senate foreign relations committee i control the balance of the time. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. the senator from new jersey is recognized. mr. menendez: mr. president, i -- mr. mccain: how much time is going to be allocated? mr. menendez: it is my intention to consume about eight minutes,
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approximately, to yield to senator campaign six minutes, senator graham six minutes, and senator corker five minutes. that should take the balance of our time. mr. president, this amendment may be good politics but it's bad policy. i appreciate the gentleman from kentucky's concern for detroit. he and others in this chamber have had plenty of times to vote for america's cities, but i haven't seen those votes be there. and nothing in this amendment, nothing what we heard, suggests that cutting all aid to egypt ultimately means putting that money into the cities of america, such as detroit, so let's not be mistaken about that. i shir many of the concerns that have been raised by my colleagues today about the situation in egypt. i believe, however, halting all
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military assistance to egypt at this time is misguided and it is shortsighted. it would drastically reduce u.s. influence with both the interim government of egypt and the military at an incredibly delicate time for egypt and its people. in so doing it may in fact undermine our shared goals and desire to see elections and a democratically elected government re-established in egypt as quickly as possible. now, it has been just a little more than two years since the onset of the arab spring and a revolution in egypt that unseated hosni mubarak after two decades in power. during these tumultuous two years, egypt has struggled as a society with a transition to democracy that its people clearly want, and with efforts to create the economic opportunities that its people clearly need. the struggle is real and ongoing. the demonstrations that ousted mubarak in a clear military coup
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were unprecedented until they were eclipsed by demonstrations this summer which drew as much as a third of egypt's population of 83 million people onto its streets. that is more than 30 million people who have been emboldened by the revolution, who are united in their call for reform and democracy and who have embraced their ability and right to peaceful protests and to demand change. if you think about it, a comparable protest in the united states involving a third of our nation would mean that 100 million americans would be in the streets of the cities of america. that's the equivalent of what's been happening in egypt. so, mr. president, my point is that egypt is changing but perhaps not as quickly as we would like and with a process that has not been surprisingly pretty chaotic. abandoning our diplomacy and engagement in egypt, a country that sits at the heart of the middle east, because the road that leads to change is not
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straight or certain would be naive. it might make us feel good, at least for a moment, but in the long run it would threaten to undermine vital national security interests and set back our values. making such a significant change to u.s. foreign policy with all the potential implications for u.s. national security and for our ally israel should not be done in haste. it should not be done carelessly or thoughtlessly. it should not be done without a full understanding of all of the ramifications of such a change, and it certainly should not be tacked on to the transportation, housing and urban developments bill. it is far too important a decision to be an afterthought to an appropriations bill, and in my view, it is ill-advised to make foreign policy on the fly
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without due consideration of all of the consequences. now, i would point out that my friend from kentucky has introduced an identical bill that has been referred to the foreign relations committee. last thursday, the committee held its first extensive hearing on the crisis in egypt, and i can assure my friend from kentucky that the committee will continue to work on this issue and to look at the appropriate policy options through a deliberative process. we need time to determine whether the process under way in egypt will meet the demands of the egyptian people and lead back to democracy or if the military leadership will dig in further and therefore invoke restrictions in u.s. law with respect to assistance. our patience is not unlimited and our assistance is not without limitations. the administration's already actively reviewing u.s. assistance. the delivery of four new f-16 aircraft that was to occur last week was halted by the administration, clearly sensitive to the situation, and at the end of the day, we should
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allow for flexibility to deal with this delicate situation as events dictate, not precipitate in an unwanted response with a knee-jerk reaction rather than deliberative reflection. the administration has a process to make its decisions. this is about far more -- as i listen to the gentleman from kentucky, far more than egypt. he basically opposes all foreign assistance abroad. the reality is that foreign assistance abroad has worked to the national interests and security of the united states, saved millions of life through fights against aids and h.i.v. it has helped strengthen democracies, create democracies, helped open markets for american products and services. as a matter of fact, these sales to egypt, about $1.2 billion, is largely from the manufacturers of equipment here in the united states that create jobs here at home and then being ultimately used in egypt. we need a more nuanced approach,
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one that speaks to both our values and our interests and one which provides the president with the flexibility needed to conduct delicate and discriminating policy in a challenging and chaotic environment. a quickened to aid at this time, a meat cleaver approach when atial pell is need south dakota simply ill-advised. last week, ambassador dennis ross, whose reputation and experience as a diplomat, presidential advisor on the middle east and author has made him one of the nation's most respected foreign policy minds on both sides of the aisle told the foreign relations committee that -- quote -- "it is imperative that america stay in the game. we cannot and should not pull out now. ending aid to egypt with only cause egyptians to shut out the united states of discussions and disregard our advice. ambassador ross also said that such an action could be the only thing to iew night all egyptians across the entire political
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spectrum against the united states, against the united states. in fact, that opinion was shared by the majority panelists who feared our inability to influence events in egypt if we were to step out of the gate. in the interim, as we further assess the situation, our response and our policy must be carefully calibrated to press for the democratic reforms that the egyptian people have demanded and simultaneously support u.s. national security interests in the region. u.s. assistance to egypt has for decades helped support the camp david accords. it also supports our security interests in countering trafficking of weapons and people into the sinai and in antiterrorism cooperation with the united states. in recent weeks, egypt's military has launched a major crackdown on terrorist activity and extremists in the sinai peninsula, carrying out arrests and attempting to seal smuggling tunnels connecting the sinai to gaza. u.s. cooperation is essential to the continuation of these activities. so let me conclude by saying at
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the end of the day, egyptian leaders and the egyptian military must show that they are committed to an inclusive political process, credible democratic elections and democratic governance that protects the rights of religious minorities, women, civil society leaders and a diversity of political points. that that includes from my perspective vacating the june 4 verdicts of the 43 individuals convicted in the politically motivated trial of nongovernmental organization workers, including 16 americans, and permitting civil society organizations to reopen their offices and operate freely. it also clearly means that immediate cessation of arrests and use of force against peaceful protesters. steps that exacerbate the divide in an egyptian society including the use of force against professors and arrest and harassment of muslim brotherhood leaders have deepened the chasm and forestalled reconciliation. the only way forward to a pluralistic, vibrant and stable democracy lies in the inclusion
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of all political parties and groups. as long as they are commited to a democratic process and to peaceful change. the united states has to move cautiously, not precipitously, in this delicate situation. the paul amendment is not our answer when it comes to our future relationship with egypt. the future of that relationship will be determined by our actions in the coming weeks. whether we will have a stable and willing partner on crucial matters of security, combating terrorism, trafficking of weapons and persons into the sinai and support for the middle east is up to us. or we can stay on the side and just hope for the best. i think abandoning egypt is a particularly poor choice, and that's why i oppose the amendment and urge my colleagues to do the same. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader is recognized. mr. reid: i have a couple unanimous consent requests, and i would also say this. this is an important debate, and i ask consent that on the floor now we have corker, we have
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mccain and graham. i would ask that if they use more than the allotted time here, that they be allowed to use that and that time would be whatever it goes over the allotted time we have an existing order that that would be given to senator paul. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that at 1:00 p.m. today, the senate proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 201, todd jones to be director of a.t.f., that there be an hour of debate equally divided in the usual form prior to a vote on cloture on the nomination, and that if cloture is invoked, all postcloture time be deemed expired and the senate proceed to vote on the confirmation with no intervening action or debate, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate and no further motion be in order to the nomination, that any related statements be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered.
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mr. reid: thank you. i ask unanimous consent that upon disposition of the paul amendment, the senate recess until 1:00 p.m. today. further, that the filing deadline for the first-degree amendments to s. 1243 be 1:30 p.m. today. that's the transportation bill. finally, that when the senate resumes legislative session following consideration of the jones nomination, the senate proceed to a period of morning business for an hour equally divided between the two leaders or their designees, with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each, with the exception of senator inhofe who is to be recognized for up to 30 minutes. following the period of morning business, the senate proceed to executive session to consider the power nomination under the previous order. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: mr. president, what this means is that we'll vote on the paul amendment, give or take, in a half-hour, around 11:00 or shortly thereafter, whatever time the order allows. and then we will recess until 1:00 p.m. that we would have the debate on jones from 1:00 to 2:00, cloture
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vote at 2:00. if cloture is invoked, we would vote on confirmation. so we could have two votes at 2:00 p.m., hopefully. morning business from 2:45 to 3:45. power nomination, that's the u.n. ambassador from 3:45 to 5:45. vote on confirmation around quarter 6:00. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, i yield to senator corker. the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky is recognized. mr. corker: i'll still be brief. i know time is extended here. let me start by saying i understand how citizens across our country are frustrated. our country has gone through tremendous financial distress. we have economic issue that are impacting people of all walks of life, and i know as they look at what's happening around the world, there's a frustration, generally speaking, with issues
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relative to foreign aid. and i understand that. i also understand, mr. president, that we are a nation of laws, and that we have had an event in egypt which is going to cause us to have to deal with that, and i think we can deal with that in due time and live up to the laws of this nation. mr. president, i also understand, though, that we are the greatest nation on the face of the earth. and one of the reasons we are the greatest nation is because of the values that we extend around the world and the fact that we have been a voice of calm. we've been a country that has tried to continue to engender peace. i know the senator from kentucke fort campbell, a place where some of our most outstanding fighting men and women are based. and i know that the senator understands that much of what we do with foreign aid is to try to keep those men and women off the
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battlefield and in training. we do that to try to keep peace and to keep those men and women who protect our country from having to go to war. the distinguished senator from new jersey just talked about the importance of egypt. and from the very beginning when this all began just within the last month or six weeks, i have felt the administration, candidly, has handled this well, that our nation should be the voice of calmness. we should try to be the steady hand that allows this transition to occur in the right way. and at the same time we should push them towards democracy. and, mr. president, i think that is exactly what we're doing. we've had a debate throughout this week in our lunch sessions among republicans, and i know the senator from kentucky has made it clear that the poll numbers indicate that we should cut off foreign aid. and, mr. president, i just want
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to say that we have tremendous responsibilities here as senators. one of the responsibilities we have, no doubt, is to represent our citizens. but on the other hand, mr. president, we're to know that sometimes we understand that we should sell to the citizens the reasons that we do the things we do on this floor. and i think that most people in this body understand that just on a t-h.u.d. bill, having an amendment that cuts off aid to egypt is not a thoughtful process as it relates to foreign aid. so, mr. president, my appeal today is really not to my friends on the other side of the aisle, although i'm sure some of them are contemplating what to do. but it's to my friends on this side of the aisle. i've talked to many of them in private. i think all of them, many of them know -- many of them, excuse me, know that this is terrible public policy. no doubt without us explaining to the american people why we shouldn't just jerk the rug out
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from under egypt as they go through this transition, no doubt without us sharing the importance of that, the american people are going to look at aid to egypt and see what's happening there and say let's take that money and let's do something else. but i think most people on this side of the aisle understand that that is terrible public policy. and i think most people on this side of the aisle want to stand up and to be thoughtful united states senators and do not want to have a poll-tested foreign policy. we're going to have plenty of time to debate this issue in september. i think all of us know a lot is going to be happening during the recess. we have two senators who are traveling to egypt over the weekend to look at what is occurring there. i'm going to be in the area in a few weeks. and it seems to me if the greatest nation on the face of the earth, instead of having some poll-tested amendment that may play well in the short term,
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what we should do as senators is be thoughtful, understand the greatness of this nation, understand the millions of lives and livelyhoods that are at stake in us being a calm hand in egypt, understanding the impact that this is going to have on people all around the world and certainly our standing in the world, but our continued ability to help promote human rights, promote democracy, promote peace, promote calm. so i would just urge the senators on our side of the aisle, we have these things that come up and we certainly have groups who come forth. i think all of us understand that this is a big vote. this is a vote that says a lot of about who we are as united states senators. this is a vote that gives us an opportunity to step away from those short-term, hot, poll-tested amendments that have nothing to do with furthering the greatness of this nation.
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and i would urge everybody in this body to stand up, to be united states senators, to do the thing that we know is the right thing to do, and that is to be calm, to address this issue as we should, in the right way this september when all of us have more information to deal with this. mr. president, i thank you for the opportunity to speak. i hope this body will rise up and conduct itself as the united states senate should on issues of this importance. i thank you for the time, and i yield the floor. mr. menendez: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: i'd like to yield three minutes to the senator from florida, senator rubio.
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the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. rubio: thank you, madam president. let me just say briefly, i've gotten a lot of calls about egypt as well. i understand it. you look at what's happening over there, you look at some of the wild things that are happening in the streets. certainly tragedies as well. you see the oppression of religious minorities and you wonder why do we continue to give aid to a country that does that? and i think that's a very important question. i think the problem we face is that we are sometimes in this place put into a position between two absolutes when there are other options available to us. the choice before us is not to cut off aid to egypt or to continue aid to egypt. i think the opportunity we have now is to restructure aid to egypt in a way that furthers our national interests. what is our national interest in egypt? our national interest is to have a secular stable democratic government that provides security so their economy can grow, that lives up to the camp david accords, that cooperates in counterterrorism, that prevents religious minorities. and our foreign aid should be restructured, not simply canceled, but restructured so that it fits and fills that aim
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that we have for that country and for our national security interest in that country. that means we should restructure our foreign aid. not simply eliminate it but go back to the egyptians and say if you want to continue to get foreign aid from the united states, you're going to have to show measurable gains on these four things. show us how you're protecting religious minorities. show us how you're advancing towards democracy and stability. you're going to have to show us how you're doing these things. that needs to be measured. if they stop doing it, the aid stops coming. about restructuring the aid, the aid should be geared towards what they need. they probably don't need more f-16's. ma they need is more capacity building for security. they need to live up to the camp david accords. our aim should be aimed towards that. if you eliminate aid completely, you lose leverage. they're still going to buy weapons. they won't get them from us and our influence will be diminished. i think there is a third way there and i think what's
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happened in egypt is a unique opportunity to restructure, not to cancel, but to restructure and reframe our relationship with egypt if they do certain things, they'll continue to get aid. if they move towards certain goals that are in our national interest, they'll continue to get aid. and they'll continue to get aid that helps them meet those goals, not simply anything they ask for. but this is what this opportunity is now and this should be done in a thoughtful and careful way. i hope that's the direction the body will move. but i think to simply cancel aid without putting these other conditions in place is a missed opportunity we should not walk away from. and so i would say to our colleagues let's not just simply cut off aid. let's take the time here to work on this so we can restructure aid with egypt in a way that furthers our national security interest. a secular democratic government that lives up to the camp david accords, that cooperates in counterterrorism, that respects religious minorities and that provides the internal security they need to create the economic growth they need so that they can be stable now and in the future and be a partner of ours.
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thank you, madam president. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the period for morning business following the consideration of jones nomination be extended by 40 minutes with additional time being equally divided between the two leaders or their designees with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. as we've already had part of the order, inhofe would have 30 minutes, but added to that would be senator mccain for what would be guaranteed 20 minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: i yield to the senator from south carolina, senator graham. the presiding officer: the senator from graham. mr. graham: i thank the chairman of the foreign relations committee. i'd like to associate myself with the remarks of the senator from florida. now is the time to be creative with our assistance to egypt to try to change things while there's still hope of things changing in a positive direction.
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i certainly understand why should we be selling f-16's to people who behave this way? the administration has put on hold the four f-16's that were due to be delivered to egypt, trying to find out what's going to happen next. that makes sense to me. but why are we selling weapons to egypt? because if we don't, someone else will. i want them to have f-16's and come to our pilot training bases. i want egyptian officers to come to our military training academies. i want a relationship with the egyptian military that can be beneficial to our national security interest. i want the people who build f-16's in america to get the business from egypt, to get some of our money back. if they buy migs or mirages, we lose that. it's not a question of if they're going to buy fighter planes. it's a question of who they're going to buy them from. we have every right to withhold sales. we have every right to put them on hold temporarily, but to just sever this relationship now, i think would be a huge mistake.
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and in fairness to senator paul, he says we would resume aid once they get their act together and move back toward democracy. i think that's something worth noting. this is an understanding on his part that he's looking for an outcome that we can be more supportive of. the difference i have is if we cut off aid now, then i cannot tell you the consequences of what that would mean in terms of moving in the direction we would all like. unintended consequences to this decision jump out pretty clearly in my mind, and most of them are bad. is it a coup? certainly looks like one. certainly sounds like one. but at the end of the day, if we are moving toward democracy and the military steps back and democratically elected leaders take over, i think that's the goal for all of us. i wish we didn't live in a world like we do. i wish things were easier. i wish that the arab spring had
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been more successful. but the one thing i can tell you is that what happens in egypt really does matter to us. if the largest country in the arab world, the heart of the arab world -- egypt -- becomes a failed state, i promise you it will affect our national security interest for decades to come. it would be a nightmare for israel. and it would take the whole region down a path that it would be, at best, chaotic. can we prevent a failed state in egypt? i think we can. i don't know for sure what's going to happen. but i do know this, if america doesn't try, if we don't stay engaged and shape history rather than observe it, we will pay a heavy price as a nation. so, part of this amendment takes money that would be going to the egyptian military and puts it on projects in the united states. i think one is a bridge in kentucky. and i have no doubt that there's
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needs for bridges in kentucky and south carolina. i'd hraof to get my -- i'd love to get my port deepened. but to the people of kentucky and people of south carolina, if we stop, the 1% of our budget is $50 billion. if you cancel it out and left $3 billion for israel -- it seems everybody likes that idea. if you had $3 billion you spent on affecting the world, is that really smart? how much of the debt would be retired if you canceled all foreign aid and brought it back into the united states? not a whole lot. but here's what i believe would happen. if america withdrew our foreign assistance, a lot of bad things would happen to us. having a say, having influence in a world that's increasingly dangerous seems to me to be a good idea. and i am tired of having to resort to the military as the only solution to effect things. the people in egypt, the government particularly wants a relationship with us. they have tow earn it, as
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senator -- they have to earn it, as senator rubio said. but really to cut off our relationship with egypt at this critical time, i think it would be extremely ill-advised. and the consequences to the people of kentucky and south carolina and every other state in the union would be significant. so, to my colleagues, when you cast your vote today about pausing, not terminating aid, trying to reconstruct aid, i don't know how that fits in a 30-second sound bite. it's probably easier to explain the "no" vote than it is the "yes" vote, but i do know this, that your country would be well served if you decided today to pause and wait to find out what the right answer in egypt is. i do know this, that if egypt goes, the entire region blows up. and the biggest fear i have is radical islamists are closer to
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getting nuclear weapons and chemical weapons than any time in my lifetime. and if egypt becomes a failed state, that's one more problem for us to have to deal with rather than focus on the iranian efforts to march towards a nuclear weapon. so radical islam has not forgotten about us. the question for us, have we forgotten about radical islam? and if you want to stop this march in the mideast of radical islam getting stronger and stronger and stronger, try to hang on to our relationship with egypt. because if it becomes a failed state, the sinai becomes one of the safe havens for terrorist groups, and the egyptian army to their credit is involved with the sinai. the cataclysmic effect of a failed state in egypt would be the biggest booster to radical islam i could think of and would do a lot of damage to our national security and our best friend in the region, israel.
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so i have a letter here from our apac. i asked them to comment on this. they're saying we're writing to express our concerns over the paul amendment to the transportation-h.u.d. appropriations bill that would eliminate military assistance and sales to egypt. we do not support cutting off all assistance to egypt at this time awes we -- as we believe it would increase the instability in egypt and undermine important u.s. interests and negatively impact our israeli ally. as you know, egypt is the largest arab state in the middle east and has played a vital role in advancing key u.s. interests in that region. citing just two examples -- the government of egypt has maintained peace with israel and has taken important steps to address the instability in the sinai. events in egypt are rapidly evolving. we believe for now the united states could avoid taking any precipitous actions against egypt such as cutting off all assistance. we look forward to working with you on these critical issues." addressed to senators menendez and corker. one final thought -- maybe one
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day i will be with senator paul, saying we have to sever our ties with the egyptian military and the egyptian people. maybe one day i will come here and cosponsor your amendment or maybe come up with one of my own. all i can tell you if that day ever comes, it would be one of the saddest days of my life because that means egypt is gone, and if egypt is gone, all hell is going to break loose. i yield. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: i yield to the senator from oregon for unanimous consent request. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: i ask that allen van fleet be given floor privileges for the day. he is an intern in my office. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: madam president, i yield to the distinguished senator from arizona, a member of the committee, senator mccain. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: could i ask the time situation? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senator from
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arizona has unlimited time. mr. mccain: does the senator from kentucky wish to respond? madam president, i think it's important in the context of this amendment on the transportation, housing and urban development bill that we put into focus what this amendment is really affecting. it is affecting the most important nation in the arab world, the heart and soul of the arab world, egypt. all countries in the middle east are important. egypt is the most important. in egypt today, there are demonstrations, there are scores of people being killed, hundreds being wounded, and this friday, just two days from now, after
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prayers, there is predictions that there could be even more carnage that will take place as a result of the people taking the streets of cairo and other cities throughout egypt. so i think we ought to consider this amendment in the context of what's happening, in arguably the most important nation in the arab world. and should we ask ourselves at this point without adequate hearings, without adequate discussion, without input from the administration as well as the oversight responsibilities by the foreign relations committee, the appropriations committee, the armed services committee, all of whom chairman and ranking members are opposed to this amendment.
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so, first of all, i caution against a rush to judgment on this issue. it requires frankly more than an hour equally divided of debate on the floor of the united states senate. i'd also like to point out that this amendment today is part of a larger debate that's been going on in the republican party for well over a century. prior to world war i, there was the isolationist wing of our party. after world war i in the 1930's, there were the america firsters. after world war ii, there was the eisenhower wing of our party and the taft wing. and the conflict and debate -- not the conflict, but the debate has gone on for the heart and soul of the republican party. this debate and this amendment that is posed by my friend from kentucky is part of that overall debate as to what the
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american -- what the united states of america's role in the world should be. should we take our money from egypt and give it to build a bridge in kentucky? should we take our foreign aid and cut it to the point where we no longer have influence in these countries throughout the world and spend it on the much-needed projects that are the result of a very ailing and still serious recession that we remain in? so i think that the vote today on this amendment has even larger implications than that of whether we should cut off all assistance to egypt. and by the way, my friends, i don't think it's an accident that apac, our friends there who represent the state of israel, have opposed this amendment, because if there is further upheaval in the sinai and if there is a collapse of the rule of law in egypt, i don't think there is any doubt that the threat to israel is dramatically
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increased. i have made it clear and so has my friend from south carolina that it was a coup, it was a coup and our law calls for that. but that is a -- an implementation of a law that needs to be done in a way that is consequencetation with the foreign relations committee, the appropriations committee. in fact, all members of the united states senate. and i think it's important for us to send a message to egypt that we're not abandoning them, but what we are doing is trying to caution them to try to modify their behavior, to tell general assissi that he has got to have an inclusive government, that he has to allow the muslim brotherhood to partake in the up coming elections, that the muslim brotherhood has to be told that they have to renounce violence. right now, egypt is spiraling down into a situation of chaos
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which i can promise my colleagues will sooner or later pose a threat to our vital national security interests. the most important nation in the arab world descending into chaos is going to be a threat to the united states of america, and i urge my colleagues and i urge my friend from kentucky with respect to realize that this amendment would send the wrong message at the wrong time. it may be coincidental, but this friday is going to be an important day in egypt. and should we be sending the message that okay to the egyptians, you're on your own? and yes, other countries in the region are contributing enormously to the egyptians without conditions. but the support or condemnation of the united states of america, the best and freest and still
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most influential nation in the world is of vital importance, and at this time i think it would be a terrific miss take for the united states to send the message to egypt you're on your own. so i hope that we understand that it's not about u.s. foreign assistance. it's not about what serves our interests and our -- it is about what serves our interests and our values, and this, my friends, is a debate that we need to have over the weeks and months and years ahead in probably one of the best places to have that debate. but today i urge my colleagues, no matter how they feel about assistance to egypt, that we are committed. i urge them to appreciate that we are committed to a long debate on this issue. i have confidence in the
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chairman of the foreign relations committee that we will be addressing this issue seriously, of which the senator from kentucky is a member and would certainly take part. i urge my colleagues to understand that an amendment on housing -- transportation, housing and urban development appropriations bill is not the venue. we need to have this debate, not only about egypt but america's role in the world, and i look forward to joining it, but today is not the day to take a step that could have repercussions that over time damage the united states vital national security interests. i urge my colleagues to vote to table the paul amendment. mr. paul: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: this is actually precisely the time it should come up, because on the infrastructure bill that we're looking at, this gives americans
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a chance to show the great contrast. do you want to do nation building overseas or do you want to do nation building at home? do you want to spend billions of dollars in egypt? or would you rather build some roads at home? i think it provides a perfect contrast. in fact, there couldn't be a better place to have a discussion on this. we always hear a lot of empty thoughts and empty promises. we'll do this in committee, we'll do this. they don't want this debate. i have been fighting tooth and nail to get -- against members of my own party to get this debate, to bring it to the floor, to bring it to the american people. let's be very clear about what the amendment does. it holds military aid until you have an election. it's just obeying the law. so let's be very clear, maybe we should do a summary of what their arguments are. this is a summary of their argument. they love sending american money overseas so much that they don't mind breaking the law.
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i didn't hear one of them here explain how they're going to adhere to the law. the law says military aids ends when there is a coup. the president says you can't make him say that there is a coup. there probably is a coup, but he is never going to say it, he is never going to adjudicate it. who is going to adjudicate whether there was a coup or not? this is about temporarily halting aid. some people rise up and say oh, we'll be closed out and they will buy their weapons somewhere else. they don't have any money. we give them the money to buy our weapons. some have said we want to promote democracy. well, there's an exemption in this. you can spend as much money as you want on democracy. mr. mccain: will the senator yield for a question? mr. paul: not now. so the thing is we have to understand what this is about. we have to understand that this is about a temporary halting of buying weapons. people say well, if we don't buy -- if we don't give them planes, if we don't pay them to buy our planes, they will think we don't like them and they will go to war with israel. everything will be so much
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worse. they have hundreds of f-16's. they have thousands of tanks. i'm precisely worried about them using them against israel. when there's chaos and blood running in the street. when there's millions of people protesting, you think it's a good time to send more weapons? you think it's a good time to send more weapons when millions of people are in the street? what happens when these weapons are used against israel? the canard of bringing the letter -- it always happens, someone brings a letter in. i have spoken to many people who love, respect and have a great deal of admiration for israel. i add mire our relationship and our alliance and am very proud of the fact that we stand together on so many issues. so to bring it up and say oh, the people who are against this don't care about israel is just a canard. i think that this precisely continuing to arm an unstable government in egypt could well be to israel's harm, and that's
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precisely why i bring this amendment forward. also, it needs to be clear for the record that everyone who's come forward to gather to send more of your money overseas, to send good money after bad, every one of them was for sending it to the muslim brotherhood. you hear them talking about islamic jihadist and how they're worried about all this. no, they're not. they are for junk the islamic jihadist, they were for funding the muslim brotherhood just months ago. i have had this vote before. i have voted to cut off the aid to the muslim brotherhood also. i produced an amendment. they all voted against it then because we're going to do it in a more rational, reasonable pace, someday, somewhere in some fictitious committee. no, we're not. they want the money to continue. it doesn't go to the egyptian people. it doesn't buy goodwill. it buys ill will. do you know what the money is spent on? tanks. tanks roll over people in protest. i have no love lost for the muslim brotherhood, but they
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have disappeared them. we're going to be giving money to the military that is disappearing people. no one has heard from president morsi. most people think he was actually elected in a fair election. i don't agree with radical islam. i don't think he would be a good president for any country. i wouldn't give him any money. but we're going to give money to people who make people disappear? does anybody who remembers the soviet union, these same people stand up and say how bad it is that the soviet union made someone disappear. i'm absolutely with them. i support that. it's terrible. that's what the military in egypt is doing, making people disappear. most of the members of the government haven't been seen in days, maybe weeks. we have no idea where they are. once again let me be clear, i have no sympathy for them. i didn't want to give them money either. but all these people who want to fund the military, they all want to fund the muslim brotherhood. the only thing consistent about their argument is sending your money to other people. there's a finite amount of money. detroit lays in ruins. chicago is full of violence.
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there are bridges everywhere, and they'll let them paint this that i have some special thing in kentucky. there is no earmark going for kentucky. there is going for the transportation bill for the whole country. there is no special thing for detroit. but i pointed out that we have problems here at home. the other side will falsely say you want isolationism or you want to disengage from the world. hogwash. i want to be involved. i'm for being involved with egypt. i'm for trade for international and global interaction and diplomacy and all of those things. but do you think you're gaining and making the world a better place by sending a few more f-16's and tanks and tear gas to egypt? you think that's somehow making the world a safer place? no, it's -- if i thought the foreign aid would do something good, i might be for it. mubarak and his family fly on private jets, dine on caviar and
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champagne. your money is more likely to buy a chateau in paris for the mubarak family than it is to buy bread for the people of egypt. they say the egyptian people won't like us anymore if we don't give them money. 70% of the egyptian people said they don't want our money. it doesn't go to them. the people by the millions are arriving in cairo, by the hundreds of thousands in tahrir square. they're not rioting for american aid. they're rioting for us to quit giving aid to the despots that rule them. mubarak ruled for 30-some odd years. he ruled by martial law. he made people disappear also. you know, what about human rights? what about dignity? what about trials? they just recently, the muslim brotherhood, tried 16 americans in abstentia. if they were there, they had to put them in jail. yet, all these same people are afraid to take money away. how do you think leverage would best work?
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how would we have leverage? maybe if we withheld some aid, we would have leverage. but if you just give them everything they want all the time any time, do you think they're going to do something differently? they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different response. we've given the aid for 30-some odd years. we gave a dictator in the congo, mbotu aid for years. his wife they called gucci. why? because she would take a million dollar bag and spend it in paris over the weekend. your money, our money, spent on lavish home. phaou -- mobutu had seven palaces. it doesn't buy goodwill of the people. it buys ill will. it does completely the opposite of everything they say it does. it does completely the opposite. so there is a disagreement on this. the one thing there is not a disagreement on, it's against
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the law. the republican party maintains we're for the rule of law. and we proudly beat our chest all the time and say to democrats, you don't want the rule of law and the president disobeys the rule of law. guess what? this time many democrats and republicans will flout the rule of law because the rule of law says the military aid ends when you have a coup. it doesn't say you can wait around until it's convenient for you and that maybe you can parcel out the aid in different ways. it doesn't say that. it says the military aid ends until there is an election. it is very clear about this. what the argument is about here is do you believe in the rule of law? if you do, there is no question you have to vote for this amendment because this amendment simply restates the law. i'm not even creating the law. i'm just restating the law that the aid ends and it resumes when there's an election. so though who want to say he's against all aid, don't listen to him, he's against all aid. that is not what this amendment does. this amendment enforces the law that actually every one of these guys, men and women, voted for.
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it's been on the book for 30-some odd years and the law says aid ends when you have a military coup. they're going to vote to bypass a law they supported. every one of them supported this law. this isn't some extreme position of no aid. this is a position of temporary halting it. it's their plan. it's not convenient now to obey the law that they passed. this is an important debate. it's not about doing things to harm israel. it's about doing things that actually i think would be beneficial to israel. it's not about ending all aid. it's about obeying the law. it's shouldn't be about whether aid is good or bad. i think there are a lot of bad things and unintended consequences that come from the aid. but it's not really about that. it's about whether you're going to obey the law or not. so what i would say is think long and hard about this. some say they're going to do something that's more important than what their people at home want and that they're very proud they're going to stand against
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the will of the people. three-fourths of republicans, three-fourths of democrats and three-fourths offed offed insr higher think it is a bad idea to be sending good money after bad overseas. we have problems at home and this could go towards fixing it. some say foreign aid is only 1%. guess what? if you cut 1% of the budget each year, your budget balances within about five years. it's called the penny plan. many on my side endorsed this phrafpblt -- plan. 1% isn't an insignificant amount of money. so i urge a "yes" vote on that and i retain the remainder of my time. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: i ask unanimous consent for two minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: mr. president, let me close. this has been a robust debate. listening to my friend and colleague from kentucky, i appreciate his views. i strongly disagree with him. above all, let's say what it is and what it's not about.
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this is not about mubarak and chateaus. mubarak is gone. the egyptian people decided that. he's gone. and it's not about phaou -- mobutu. it is a question about whether or not we will continue to pursue our own national interests and national security in egypt in the middle east. this is in fact about democracy. it is about the 30 million that were protesting in the streets of egypt that senator paul referred to. but their call is not for us to leave. their call is for us to engage with them. and as the testimony before the committee by experts in this field said the one uniting thing among all elements of egyptian society that we could do is cut off all aid.
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and it would unite them what? against us. now this is about making sure that we have a stable middle east. it's not a canard to suggest that israel's security is at stake here, because when you have hundreds of tunnels in the sinai being used by extremists to send weapons into gaza to attack israel, it is about their security. and i think no one knows better about their security than the state of israel itself knows about their security. it is not a canard. it's a fundamental element of whether or not we are going to have an ally that can be safe and secure. it's a fundamental element of whether we're going to have an ability to effect the outcome in egypt in a way that will create stability and peace. it's a fundamental element of whether we have to send soldiers abroad versus keeping them here at home because when there's peace and stability, we ultimately do not have to engage in the world with our military in pursuit of our national
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interests and security. when terrorists cannot organize in egypt, we are safer here at home in the united states. so let us not cut off a, all aid to egypt in a transportation, housing and development bill when in fact our vital national interests are at stake. there's plenty of opportunity to help america's cities. i was a mayor. nobody wants to help america's cities more. you get to do that if you vote for the thudb if you -- the thud bill if you put your vote up for it. mr. mccain: would the senator yield? mr. menendez: i yield to the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: as ronald reagan used to say, facts are stubborn things. the senator from kentucky said egypt have no money. isn't it a fact the saudis have given them $13 billion? mr. menendez: absolutely. mr. mccain: again, isn't the question here, is whether the
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senator from kentucky knows what's better for israel or israel knows what's better for israel? and the fact is that aipac and the israelis are adamantly opposed to this amendment. isn't that correct? mr. menendez: it is true that they are opposed. and i would assume that israel as a sovereign state knows what its security interests are better than anyone else. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. menendez: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: i have 12 unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and that they be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: mr. president? what is the status -- the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: what is the status of time right now? i think we ought to bring this to a close soon. the presiding officer: all time remaining is under control of the senator from kentucky, and he has two minutes.
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mr. paul: mr. president, several points have been made about whether or not we should engage with egypt. absolutely we should, but the egyptian people don't see it as engagement when the engagement is at the end of a truncheon, when the engagement is tear gas bought with american money sprayed on them. they don't quite understand that as engagement. so buying arms, american tanks and american tear gas to be used for crowd control isn't exactly what the egyptian people have in mind as far as engagement. with regard to israel, there is no unified statement from the nation of israel saying that they're for this. i've had both private and public discussions with the leaders of israel, and to tell you the truth, without naming individuals, i can tell you they're not too excited about sending more arms to egypt. so for someone to come to the floor and say they speak for the nation of israel, they speak for all people who love israel in
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our country, it's just false. there's probably 20 different groups in our countryho ort them as ally.srael and i speak to them all the time. i visit with them daily and weekly in our office. so what i can tell you is if you talk to the people, to the grass roots and not to the so-called leadership, you will find a much different story because i would promise you, and i would ask and seek to have aipac let me speak to their entire crowd, and we'll see whether the crowd likes at an aipac meeting whether they like sending more weapons to the muslim brotherhood or more weapons to egypt. i think you'll find a resounding no. this amendment is ultimately about the law, and i hope my colleagues will remember that if they vote against their amendment, they're flouting the law. they're voting to disobey the law. they're voting against the rule of law. and they're actually voting against the law they all have voted for.
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the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: mr. president, i think most members of the body realize the thud bill is not the place to address foreign policy. i think all understand in september it is the plan of this body to deal with the legal issues regarding foreign aid to egypt. so i move to table the senator from kentucky's amendment. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion to table. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 86, the nays are 13. the motion to table is agreed to. without objection. under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until
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senate stands in recess until
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members of congress to hold accountable at the congressional committee hearings and so it may help through all of those groups to have somebody at the helm of the organization they like what they can call and the couple will live for their own fund-raising and political purposes. >> why has the atf been without a director since 2006? >> in 2006, congress changed all and the atf from a position where the president appointed to a position by the senate. and the senate hasn't come from anyone since then in part because the nra and some senators who are aligned with don interests have blocked it. president bush appointed somebody that never got confirmed and then president obama and office leaving on five years has never had a atf director before the senate. >> with the nra now on the sidelines, who was in the opposite corner supporting the
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nominee and who is opposing? >> well, the senate leadership is certainly supporting the nomination that came out of the senate judiciary committee on a boat. republicans voted against jones and all ten democrats voted for him. the sense is that there will be some republican crossover whether it will be the same makeup that voted for the president's nominees to lead the labor department is yet to be determined. jones wasn't part of the deal that the senate reached to save the filibuster and confirm mccarthy at the epa. but the expectation is at this point any way that there will be enough votes to move jones nomination to a full vote. >> remind the viewers, it's been a few years since there was a atf nominee -- what are they responsible for? >> the atf does a lot less than it did in 2006, the last time it
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had a confirmed director. the agency has been stalled a little bit by various congress is. they don't get as much money as they used to. but it's in charge for enforcing federal gun laws. it's the most high-profile purpose. most of the time atf has been on the news not necessarily for good things but they do have regions all over the country and for some sort of specific elements of the gun laws and explosives as well. there are some alcohol and tobacco when it's but it's far less at this point than the responsibility when president obama to find his 23 executive orders after the newtown tragedy. they are giving it some more
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responsibilities and the gun control efforts or a part of that and something the president and his administration would like to see done and part of why he's been pushing for jones to be confirmed. islamic some of the president's nominee is we did quite a while for a nominee. how long has todd jones been waiting to get his confirmation vote? >> he was named the interim director in 2011, since then he has been commuting in his full-time job as the u.s. attorney for minnesota and washington running the atf. he is any essentially running the atf tree and a half days a week and in minneapolis three and a half days a week. after newtown, the president nominated him to be the director of the atf so he has been waiting since late january to be confirmed. yet he finally got the committee vote last month. they finally have a committee vote last month. chuck grassley, the republican, the ranking republican on the
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judiciary protested having the vote and he has said that jones shouldn't get a vote on the full senate while based on some whistle-blower complaints that a subordinate in the u.s. attorney office of minnesota filed democrats including patrick leahy, the judiciary chairman and ultimately decide those complaints were not significant enough to hold up this nomination. >> white house reporter for politico. you can read his reporting at thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> the vote to move the nomination forward will have been about 2 p.m. eastern. we will have coverage on c-span2. a short time ago the senate rejected the aid to egypt and then went into recess. when the senate comes back into session at 1 p.m. eastern lawmakers will debate the atf nomination we heard about and leader in the day consider the nomination of samantha power to be the ambassador to the united nations. when the senate reconvenes at
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1 p.m. we will have coverage here on c-span2. mark twain was a very young man when he was here in carson city. born in 1835 commesso he arrives in 1851. do the math in his life. the things that he writes and the notoriety that he gets in the beginning of san francisco and new york city. i would argue about the experience the virginia city experience, senator clemens could have never been mark twain to the estimate more about clemens as american history tv looks at the literary life of carson city nevada saturday and noon eastern on c-span2 and sunday at five on c-span3.
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the senate foreign relations committee yesterday held a confirmation for the nominee to the inspector general for the state department. if confirmed, would be the first permanent state department inspector general since 2008. senator bob menendez chaired the hearing. >> moving to the nomination hearing, thank you for joining the business meeting. today as we approach the august recess, we have a plethora of well qualified nominees for the committees nomination. we welcome them to the senate as well as their family members joining us today to offer their support. we recognize that it is an obligation that has taken on by one of our ambassadors and it is an obligation by family and the understand the sacrifices that are involved, and we appreciate and applaud all of our nominees and their families willing to serve their country. before we begin, let me say i hope we can expedite the process
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which can often be fraught with the lake as you well know. i would urge my colleagues on the committee to submit any additional questions for our nominees to the committee by this evening. and i would urge our nominees to return their answers in writing as quickly as possible. i want to thank senators kaine who will be taking the gavel for panel three and four and think senator corker and his staff for working on the process diligently with me including reviewing the files meeting with nominees and making that time to hold a hearing during a busy week. but i believe our efforts are critical to filling the post in a timely manner. before i first introduced the first of two panels let me turn to senator corker for his comments. >> i look forward to this process continuing today. again, i know much of that paper work has just come in recently and i know in this particular case it's been 2,022 days since we have had an inspector general, so i'm glad that you
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are here and i look forward to your testimony and i want to thank all of the members of the committee for participating in this, especially today so that we can hopefully move many of these out by the week's end if there are no objections. >> thank you, senator corker. we will start with our first panel. i and others have been deeply concerned with the state operating in a permanent inspector general since 2008. the inspector general's play a crucial role in identifying the ineffective programs, process sees, weaknesses, spending that undermined public confidence it is essential for the proper functioning of the department. therefore, pleased the administration has nominated stephen as the inspector general for the department of state. he's a highly qualified nominee who can function independently and objectively. he's currently the ayachi for the federal housing finance agency and is previously served as an assistant united states attorney and as a deputy chief of the fraud sector of the department of criminal division, and other words, this
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liquification that one wants to miss the department inspector general. >> this is important of something both of us have been pushing for, and i'm glad this the department finally has made this nomination. obviously the safety of the foreign service officers is something that has come of even greater focus to all of us with recent events. and i know of one of the roles that you have to ensure that there is a integrity on what we are doing in that regard. thank you for being here. i think it's incredibly important with all the moving parts we have at the state department to have a functioning and strong inspector general, and i look forward to your testimony. >> with that, mr. linick, we ask you to make your statement and we ask you to some the size your statement in about five minutes or so. you're full statement will be entered into the record without objection and the floor is yours. >> chairman menendez, ranking member corker and members of the
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kennedy, thank you took the opportunity to appear before you today. i'm honored to be president obama's money for the inspector general of the u.s. department of state. this is the second time president obama has nominated me to serve the nation, as i was confirmed by the senate in late 2010 to serve as the first inspector general of the federal housing finance agency, fha, the agency responsible for overseeing fannie mae, freddie mac and the federal home loan banks. before i begin my official testimony, i would like to introduce my wife, married, my son zachary, my daughter, my mother and family who are here supporting me today. by way of background, most of my professional life has been the devoted to public service. shortly after growing the georgetown university law center, joined the philadelphia district record in office as an assistant district attorney. in 1994, i can the federal prosecutor and over the next 16 years worked with various
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components of the u.s. department of justice, including two united states attorney's offices. since october of 2010, i served as the inspector general of the fha. i believe my professional experience has made me well suited to serve as the inspector general at the department state to it as a former federal prosecutor i have a strong and successful background in combating fraud, waste and abuse in government programs at home and abroad. notably what all that ahead of justice i served for four years as the executive director of the national procurement fraud task force. during that time i supervised the investigation and prosecution of individuals and companies for contract fraud and corruption in the war and reconstruction efforts in iraq and afghanistan. i work closely with officials from the special inspectors general for iraq and afghanistan reconstruction, plus the offices of the inspectors general from the department of state, the
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department of defense and of the u.s. agency for international development. in addition, my service as the fhfa inspector general demonstrates i have the skills, judgment and experience necessary to manage a large office of inspector general and in dependably oversee an agency with significant program responsibilities and financial resources. in this role, i've gained 80 appreciation for the critical mission of inspectors general within the federal government agencies as well as the importance of conducting vigorous an independent objective oversight. as fhfa's first inspector general, i was responsible for building an organization from the ground up and putting high during approximately 140 professionals. my office of oversight responsibilities for fannie mae and freddie mac, which have received approximately $187 billion to keep them solvent -- this is taxpayer money. from the outset of the office formation, by employing innovative strategies to
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maximize results, including collaborating with inspectors general to leverage resources and benefit from best practices. to date, my team has published approximately 50 reports and numerous management reports on topics including the u.s. housing crisis. we've made recommendations that are expected to produce at least $2 billion in added recovery. additionally, we've initiated or participated in many criminal and civil investigations relating to mortgage fraud that have resulted in significant indictments and convictions. it's been an honor to serve as the inspector general of fhfa and i am proud of my office's accomplishments. if confirmed, i commit to bring the same leadership, energy, vision and independence to the office of inspector general for this department. from a strategic and leadership perspective, islanders and that the responsibilities of the position to which i have been confirmed our great. if confirmed, i will ensure that the department of state, office of inspector general is an
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independent objective organization that provides robust oversight, transparency and accountability so the programs and operations of the department of state. i will maintain close relationships with congress, including this committee and other committees of jurisdiction. i will develop effective working relationships with state department management. i am honored to be considered for this important position, and i look forward to answering your questions. thank you. >> thank you very much for your testimony. let me start off with this position has been vacant since january, 2008, the longest unfilled position among the inspector general's across the department. based on your experience as a confirmed inspector general in your present position, what affect do you think that a vacancy of that land may have created at the department of state? and helm -- i heard your
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commitment to independence -- how will you assure the dependence if confirmed upon the position? >> senate turkoman thank you for that question. i recognize there's been a longstanding vacancy. clearly it is one of the challenges i.t. said the state department. i don't know what impact that has had on the oig. one of my goals would be to roll up my sleeves, given to the office if confirmed and find the gaps and oversight, problems in the office and look for solutions. in terms of independence, i have been very independent at the fhfa oig and i will certainly employee the same strategy at the department of state office of inspector general. for me this means telling the truth. even if it is unpleasant. promoting transparency, resisting any interference,
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pursuing investigations wherever the facts may lead, protecting whistle-blowers to make sure they face a forum for expressing grievances and assuring there are high standards for the audit investigations and inspections. >> let me ask you if confirmed, what is your thinking on how your work inevitably producing audits will produce some understandings and recommendations has some legitimate concerns about the operations of the department within the conflict of the purview of your work? how will you work with the secretary of state and other officials to ensure that recommendations made by you or implemented? >> there is a process that online and fly at fhfa oig
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starting with making the recommendations and informing the congress about the recommendations, following up on those recommendations by giving additional reports to ensure compliance with those recommendations. if i had a problem with implementation of recommendations i would certainly not hesitate to take it up with the secretary and also discuss it with congress. >> can we get the commitment it is part of your process since this is the committee of oversight jurisdiction that you will bring to our attention the issues you are having a problem getting implemented? >> you have my omitment. i am very close with the senate banking committee and other committees of jurisdiction at fhfa oig coming and routinely debrief both senate and house bipartisan on events and activities at the oig and at the agency. >> finally, under the foreign affairs act of 1980, each state department is supposed to be
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inspected by the oig at least once every five years. there's about 85 posts in the bureau that have not been inspected in the past five years, and congress has had to grant the department a wafer with regard to this requirement. what do you believe upon your confirmation to be true that can be done to remedy the situation? >> i am aware of the statutory requirement for inspections. one of my first tasks would be to look at their resources allocated to the inspections on audits and investigations to determine where oig priorities are. i'm very interested in working with the committee if confirmed to understand the kennedys perspectives on the need for the various inspections of embassies >> i'm going to turn to senator


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